Any advice on water based stains?


I am trying to color match some cabinet doors I bought, I bought 200 kitchen doors they are the American woodcrafter "Maple Spice" finish. I went to Home Depot and had them order the stain its a 2 part stain, ($38.00 for 2 pints) it seems to be laquer based. Anyhow it doesn't match even close. I can come some what close with an oil based minwax but still not what I am looking for.
I have never used the waterbased stains but minwax looks to have a good selection of mixes and some of the colors look very close to what I am looking for. How well do the water based stains work ( I will be using maple) All I need to stain is the outer cabinet frames and some end cabinets. Minwax has a good amount of info but thats there sight.
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Hi Wayne, I think you will find that the maple will blotch somewhat when you wipe it on. I have found that if I spray it on and do not wipe blotching is minimized. Better yet I often spray a coat of clear stain first to seal the wood and then apply the coloured product. The latter gives great results. However, I have not tried it on Minwax products as I use Fuhr WB products but I see no reason why it would be different.. Obviously practice on some scrap first. Good Luck, JG
wayne mak wrote:

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I've used TransTint dyes in WB finishes several times. Very versatile in several liquids. I got mine from www.homesteadfinishing.com where there are several active forums.
On Sun, 20 Nov 2005 21:14:21 -0500, "wayne mak"

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I went down to the local true value store and we mixed a color came home it needed a bit more red, went back they added some red and it looks good. If you pretreat the wood it stains VERY even. I looks far better than I have ever done with oil based. I an VERY happy with the results. After it dries it can still be polyed with oil based.
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You CAN accomplish the same thing at home with primary colors of dye. Too red mix a little green, the complement of red, too yellow add a little purple, complement of yellow. Besides, price of gas is still too high!
On Mon, 21 Nov 2005 12:48:32 -0500, "wayne mak"

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I just bought some of this Minwax water based stain - blue. I purchased also the water based wood conditioner. Used both on a project made with poplar. I was not very please with the results. The stain was hard to work with, and did not appear to be evenly absorbed. It came out with dark blotches, and in some spots was only lightly absorbed (not at joints from glue - I was careful to tape off joints and clean up and sand any squeeze out)..
Maybe it was the wood species, maybe it was me. I thought poplar was known to take colors and stain well. (Disclaimer: I'm relatively new to this - about 8 years.) I sanded all surfaces to 220 before applicaation of the wood conditioner & stain. After the conditioner, I sanded lightly (per the directions) with 220 to a smooth satin-like surface.
Just my $.02 - I won't use water based stain again, and will look for alternatives to Minwax.
Nick B

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You might have actually had poplar, as in one of the many trees in the Populus genus. They're known for twisting grain, which gives many different looks on the same surface.
Yellow-Poplar or Tulip-Poplar, which isn't a poplar at all, is more consistent.
Water-based stains and their cousins the dyes demand a firm full stroke and minimum overlap, however. Wood has a great affinity for water, much less for oil, which is why you get better spread and bend.
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On 11/24/2005 6:59 AM George mumbled something about the following:

Just for the curious. Yellow Poplar (or Tulip Poplar as it is sometimes known) is a member of the Magnolia family and grow taller than any other hardwood in the US reaching as tall as 150 ft.
Trees that are from the Populus genus are Aspen, Cottonwood, Lombardy Poplar, Grey Poplar and White (sometimes called Silver) Poplar.
Now, I've never known Aspen or Cottonwood to have twisted grain (chopsticks are typically made of Aspen), but I've never worked with any of the others.
--
Odinn
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You've lived a sheltered life. Try splitting a few pieces for kindling and reconsider.
The interlocked long grain on aspen is what makes it the preferred wood for matchsticks. It hangs together rather than dropping the flaming end. It or Balsam were also the preferred woods for cart bottoms and stoneboats, because you could toss fieldstone in and it would only dent, not split.
Nice stuff
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On 11/24/2005 8:29 AM George mumbled something about the following:

I have no desire to split any more kindlin, did enough of that when I was a youngster. We only used pine for kindlin and oak to actually burn. Nowadays I use those starter logs instead. Since I've never lived in the NE, I've had very little actual contact with Aspen, so, yes, I guess I've had a sheltered life.
Now, according to http://www.hardwoodinfo.com/species_guide/display_species.asp?species=aspen it is straight grained, and that's what my limited experience with it has been.
--
Odinn
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On 11/24/2005 9:58 PM Odinn mumbled something about the following:

Oh yeah, when I think of twisted grain, I think of something like sweetgum. Can't split that stuff no matter how aged it is.
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TransTint dyes from Jeff Jewitt can be mixed with several solutions like water, alcohol, etc. I use them to mix with a finish then spray on as a toner. Jeff often suggests spraying dye on bare wood that is prone to blotch. Visit the forums at www.homesteadfinishing.com and use the "search" option. Believe he describes application methods also.
On Wed, 23 Nov 2005 22:26:32 -0500, "Nick Bozovich"

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Wayne, I also like the transTint water based dye stuff. I have never like the premixed water based stains from the big box stores. A 1/2 to 1 pound cut of (super blonde) shellac also is a great sealer and helps prevent blotching. Also, minwax oil gel stains are great in preventing blotching. I have used spray toning as well where I mixed up some water based dye on the wood. I had an antique table with mahogany top and low quality maple legs. Couldn't get the legs stripped well enough (of lacquer), so I just spray toned with a dark walnut stain until I got the tone I wanted worked great, looked great. Spray toning can cover up grain tho. Hope that helps, MBR
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